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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99040 Find in a Library
Title: Becoming Bent - Moral Careers of Corrupt Policemen (From Moral Issues in Police Work, P 253-265, 1985, Fredrick A Elliston and Michael Feldberg, ed. - See NCJ-99027)
Author(s): L W Sherman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Totowa, NJ 07512
Sale Source: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Division of Littlefield, Adams and Co
81 Adams Drive
Totowa, NJ 07512
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police corruption patterns escalate from minor to major offenses, primarily in the context of petty, nuisance, and vice laws which officers are bribed not to enforce; police corruption could be reduced by decriminalizing such laws.
Abstract: Police corruption begins with gratuities, such as free coffee and discount meals, and progresses to more serious offenses, such as bribes for not enforcing laws. As long as police administrators allow the less serious gratuities to occur, the climate for more serious bribes exists. Also, petty laws and nuisance regulations that can be costly to businesses and which police can selectively enforce give legitimate businesses an incentive to bribe police officers patrolling their jurisdictions. Similarly, vice laws encourage pimps and gamblers to tempt the police with money in exchange for immunity from arrest. The next step is to take bribes from drug traffickers. If petty laws, nuisance regulations, and vice laws were removed from the books, the context for less serious corruption would be removed, and the more serious narcotics bribes would be less likely. Case studies illustrate the escalation and context of police corruption. Three notes and a 33-item bibliography are provided.
Index Term(s): Bribery; Decriminalization; Police corruption; Police policies and procedures
Note: Paper presented to the National Deviancy Conference, University of York, England, April 15, 1973.
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